USA Today Best of 2012

Monday, May 16, 2011

So they think they're above the economy?

A few businesses seem to believe they don't have to compensate for economic hardship, and they'll come away fine.

For instance, the local golf course. Total green fees collected last year were way down (people couldn't afford to golf because it's an extra, not a necessity? whoda thunkit!), so they have responded by assessing their shareholders an additional fee of almost what they normally pay (so they're basically paying double now). I'm betting this will result in many of them letting their shares go--and paying nothing at all. What I think they should have done? Advertise, run specials, offer rates people can afford, to get those non-shareholders in. Sell punch passes equivalent to buy one, get one. Lower green fees to make it something we can't pass up. Make it a good deal and then people will spend their hard-earned, smaller disposable income there, instead of somewhere else. Not rocket science. (for the record, we'd probably golf 3 times as much, if the fees were half what they are now)

Another example: Big publishers. Borders sends me coupons constantly, and since we no longer have a store, I'm even more apt to use them online for an ebook. However, most of the books in my Wishlist come with notices saying "Sorry, no discounts or rewards on this book." Click the "why" link, and this comes up:
The publisher does not allow this eBook to be discounted below list price in any way.

For this reason, this eBook is not eligible for any pre-order, bestseller, promotional, coupon, or other discount. It is also not eligible for the accrual or redemption of Borders Bucks through Borders Rewards.

Uhm, yeah. Because we all know if you discount an ebook to readers, you'll totally lose your ass, right? Wrong. I'm sure the difference is in the contracts between ebook vendors and pubs. With print books, the publisher gets so much for the book No Matter What. If Borders offers a 40% off coupon, they're probably just breaking even on the book (unless they got a verra good deal on it). Whereas, if they offer a 40% off coupon on an ebook, the publisher is also going to take a cut in profits. And yet... a sale is a sale, no? Wouldn't Simon and Shuster, rather have a few of my dollars than none at all? Apparently not.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy!


Sutton Fox said...

The attitude is mystifying. Especially in this economy. If they were going to change their business model, they should have done it long before now. Can't imagine why they're struggling...just sayin'.

Stephanie said...

I agree!!!!! Some money has to be better than none!